Week 23: Paris under water

I returned from Lisbon on the Saturday afternoon to find the Seine at its highest level in more than 30 years.  But it was no longer rising. So I postponed my trip to Bièvres for the photo fair, which I was curious to visit (I have never been there) and instead took the métro to the centre of the city. After all, Bièvres will back next year. Once again, I took with me the same combination I tried in Lisbon – TMAX-100 in the M6 with a 35mm lens, and Tri-X 400 in the M6TTL with a 50 mm lens.

So, station Saint-Michel was closed (because of the flooding of course) but Cité metro station was open. No stairs, though, and you have to take the lift. Station staff corralled passengers away from the stairs. Outside,  a thin foggy haze covered the city and the Seine. The bridges were full of people nervously looking at the level of the water which hadn’t really started to go down. It’s worth remembering how high it was in 1910 – look at this picture below, on the wall there is a marker for 1910. That must have been incredible !


Looking at the river

A quick walk around  revealed that many familiar sights were under water, and of course it’s a great opportunity to take some photographs:


You have all probably seen on this news: the “Square du vert-galant” which was completely flooded:


Good for ducks…

And the famous lamp on the L’île Saint-Louis, beloved of so many Parisian photographs:


Ile St. Louis

Back on the quays, this fellow didn’t seem to be doing much business, everyone was too busy looking at the water (and doesn’t he look like his drawing of Mr. Allen):


A quiet day on the quais

Two days later, in the morning, I returned to take a few more photographs. The flood-waters had descended a bit. Buildings and furniture had started to emerge from the Seine:


Still a bit damp for relaxing on the benches..

And there was some sunshine, which made for better photographs. I admit, after all my complaining in the previous post, that TMAX-100 doesn’t look so bad for the photograph on the left.


And here is the last one: “Lamp of Ile St. Louis” once again, but now visible!


Flood waters receding…


That’s it for this time. Next time: going underground!

Technical details are the same as last time around. I used both Tri-X with HC110 dil. E 8 mins with a 50mm Summicron  and  TMAX-100 for 12mins in Rodinal at 1+50 and a 35mm Voigtlander lens.


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